Final Illinois Power 25 Team Rankings
June 12, 2023
With the conclusion of this past weekend’s State Tournaments, we’ve compiled our Illinois Power 25 Final Team Rankings. It’s important to note that our rankings are not necessarily a final reflection of what happened during the playoffs, but rather take into account the entire season, including conference races.
The team that sits atop our final rankings this season, is the same team that began the year at No. 1 in our Preseason Power 25, the back-to-back Class 4A State Champions, Edwardsville. The Tigers cemented themselves in history with their 33-9 2023 campaign, becoming only the sixth team ever to repeat as state champions, and just the second such program to do so at the 4A classification (Providence Catholic 2014-2016).
Finishing at No. 2 is Nazareth Academy, who, like Edwardsville, also find themselves in that coveted group of teams to repeat as state champions. The Roadrunners were arguably the most dominant team at 3A this season, spending six straight weeks slotted at No. 1 or No. 2 in the Power 25. Nazareth rolled through their playoff path, outscoring their opponents 63-5, and finished the year with a 34-6 record.
Though they fluctuated throughout the Power 25 as the regular season went on, Brother Rice found themselves in Joliet yet again after a third-place finish in 2022. The Crusaders made it to their first state championship game since 1981, concluding the year as runner-ups at the 4A level with a 26-16 record. Brother Rice perennially plays one of the toughest schedules in the state and this year was no different, as the Crusaders matched up against high quality opposition both in Illinois and away from it.
Similarly to their counterparts above them, the Trevians of New Trier are another storied program that found themselves playing deep into the postseason this spring. Led by legendary head coach Mike Napoleon, New Trier spent eight straight weeks inside the top-10 of the Illinois’ Power 25 and didn’t drop below the 10th spot after our April 9th update. Headlined by a potent offense from top to bottom, the Trevians’ season ended with a third place finish and 30 wins.
Lincoln-Way East’s successful season has the Griffins placed at fifth in our final Power 25 update. Debuting at No. 9 overall in our Preseason poll, Lincoln-Way East dropped out of the top-10 only three times, and they spent the last four weeks of our ranking within the top five. The Griffins fell in the Super-Sectional to Brother Rice on a walk-off single, though they were certainly one of the top teams in 4A all year, finishing with a 31-9 record.
It’s worth noting that the 2A, 3A, and 4A state champions were all repeats, with Joliet Catholic, Nazareth Academy, and Edwardsville defending their previous titles. We highlighted the latter two above, but the Hilltoppers deserve some love as well, ending the year at No. 8 on our Power 25. Joliet Catholic won the ESCC regular season title this spring and rolled their way to an appearance in Peoria, taking down Quincy Notre Dame and Columbia, two of the top teams in 2A, at state to defend their crown.
Though they’re not on this final Power 25 update, Gibault Catholic did win the 1A state championship, their second such honor in program history. The Hawks, who play a regular season schedule made up of mostly 2A, 3A, and 4A opponents, won the championship game handedly, taking down Henry-Senachwine 8-0, and finishing the year with a 24-14 record.
Below we take a look at the Top 5 teams in Illinois come season’s end.
NO. 1 EDWARDSVILLE (33-9)
Led by Tim Funkhouser, Edwardsville made their state-record 18th trip to the state playoffs as a program this spring. They’ve done so eight times under Funkhouser’s guidance, capturing the title three times in total - 2019, 2022, and 2023.
A large chunk of last year’s core returned this spring for the Tigers, including the middle of their order, which is a relentless group that didn’t make for an easy out each time they stride up to the plate. Cole Funkhouser (2023; Central Missouri) set the table from the top of the lineup, batting .380 with nine doubles, two triples, and five home runs, while leading the Tigers in hits (52) and runs scored (52). Aside from his efforts on the hill, Joe Chiarodo (2025; Alabama) is a formidable offensive threat as well, batting .333 on the year with nine extra-base hits entering these playoffs.
The 3-4-5 hitters were the Tigers’ main run producers all spring. They’re all left-handed and, combined, drove in 123 runs, starting with Riley Iffrig (2023; Indiana State), who’s 51 RBIs leads this unit. Iffrig has been a middle-of-the-order bat for the Tigers for a large chunk of his high school career, and he’s batting .377 on the year with seven doubles and eight home runs. Caeleb Copeland (2023; St. Charles CC) hits cleanup and routinely makes for one of the toughest at-bats in the state. He led the Tigers in batting average (.400) and brought home 40 runs on 42 hits, doubling 10 times with two home runs. Andrew Hendrickson (2023; Lincoln Land CC) typically hits fifth and really found his stride down the stretch with nine doubles, two home runs, and 32 RBIs.
Edwardsville had even more impact-type bats down their order. Lucas Huebner (2024), who was their primary catcher all spring, batted .327 with 30 RBIs. Kayden Jennings (2023; Illinois-Springfield) is a real up-the-middle asset with the glove and he 11 times on the year, batting .333 with 26 RBIs. Lucas Krebs (2025) saw success in his first full season at the varsity level, bouncing around both the outfield and infield with a .311 average on the year. Jennings, in particular, was productive for the Tigers in Joliet, driving in four runs in the semi-final game while having two key doubles in the championship.
The Tigers had a formidable one-two punch at the top of their rotation in Logan Geggus (2023; St. Louis) and the aforementioned Chiarodo. Geggus owned a 10-0 record in 49 innings this spring, pitching to a 2.14 ERA with 71 strikeouts under his belt. Chiarodo was absolutely nails on the hill, allowing just seven earned runs (0.98 ERA) over 50 innings, punching out 65 in that span entering the playoffs and throwing 5 ⅓ innings of one-run ball in the semi-final game to push Edwardsville past York. Aside from those two, the Tigers’ got positive contributions from Hendrickson and Alec Marchetto (2024), while youngsters Hunter Baugh (2026) and Anthony Eberlin (2026; TCU) have impressed in brief workloads.
To read more on Edwardsville’s state championship win, click HERE.
NO. 2 NAZARETH ACADEMY (34-6)
The reigning 3A state champions returned to Joliet after yet another successful regular season run, bringing back a large group of players that propelled them to last year’s title, and will be back for next season, too. This was the Roadrunners’ sixth trip to the state tournament under head coach Lee Milano since 2011, returning in emphatic fashion, outscoring their opposition 63-5 in total throughout the playoffs.
Nazareth’s offense is relentless and a majority of their at-bats are compiled from players that were on last year’s title team. Sophomore Jaden Fauske (2025; Louisville) leads the way in multiple offensive categories, including hits (55), batting average (.487), RBIs (38), and tying the team lead in extra-base hits (21). Nick Drtina (2024; Louisville) and Lucas Smith (2023; Illinois-Chicago) each batted over .400 in 90+ at-bats, and they both doubled 10+ times, with Smith totaling 21 extra-base hits. David Cox (2024; Northwestern) and Luca Fiore (2024) each batted .396, driving in 28+ runs apiece, while Cox homered three times with 14 total extra-base hits. While he did miss some time, Cooper Malamazian (2024; Indiana) has scorched the baseball all spring, hitting .569 in 65 at-bats with nine doubles, three triples, and five home runs. Cole Reifsteck (2024), Collin Roche (2025), and Landon Thome (2026) all batted above .330, too.
The talent on this Roadrunners’ squad translates to the mound, where Nazareth has a litany of arms at their disposal to trot out in any given game. Finn O’Meara (2023; DePauw) leads the staff with 39 total innings, pitching to a 1.62 ERA with 76 strikeouts. John Hughes (2024; North Carolina) has been nails, allowing just two earned runs (0.48 ERA) in 29 innings on the bump, striking out 39 while walking just nine. Hughes hurled five shutout innings in the state semi-final game and O’Meara threw well against a tough Grayslake Central squad in the championship. Cox was another dynamic arm at the Roadrunners’ disposal throughout the season, and Malamazian, who saw limited action on the mound in the spring, closed things out for Nazareth in the title game.
To read more about Nazareth Academy's championship win, click HERE.
NO. 3 BROTHER RICE (26-16)
Under head coach Sean McBride Brother Rice navigated their way through one of the state’s more difficult playoff paths to find themselves playing in Joliet in back-to-back seasons and reaching the state championship game for the first time since 1981.
This Crusaders’ club was a mix of experienced seniors and talented youngsters that have grown as a unit throughout the year. They were battle tested, having gone through a difficult all-around schedule this spring, including multiple battles with high-end teams out of state. Two senior bats headlined this group: OF Bryce Nevils (2023; Western Kentucky) and 1B Amir Gray (2023; Purdue). Nevils is a dynamic do-it-all type of producer that created run-scoring opportunities in multiple different avenues. Entering state, Nevils batted .352 on the year and led the team in hits (45), runs scored (41), and RBIs (35), doubling 12 times with six home runs, too. Gray wasn’t too far behind and he consistently put together competitive at-bats, bringing a .345 batting average with 11 doubles and 24 RBIs to Joliet.
Randall Nauden (2024) is a physical right-handed bat that delivered the game-winning hit in the Crusaders’ Super-Sectional win and batted .305 with 10 extra-base hits prior to the playoffs. Sophomores Jackson Natanek (2025) and Gavin Triezenberg (2025) are two more names that had strong offensive seasons. Each of them over .330 and drove in 20+ runs while also playing silky-smooth defense up the middle.
Turning to the mound, the Crusaders’ had a true ace in Purdue signee Cole Van Assen (2023). He’s hurled 71 innings this spring, pitching to a 1.97 ERA, and striking out 81 batters while walking just 15 before his final start against New Trier in the semi-final game on Friday night. There, Van Assen was dominant, punching out nine in a complete game shutout against the Trevians’ potent lineup, and allowing just two total hits as well.
Aside from him, Brother Rice’s inning workload was spread out through a handful of arms. All five of Trent Guzek (2023; Elmhurst), Casey Giemzik (2024), Tadgh Callaghan (2025), Danny Sheehan (2025), and Jackson Natanek (2025) threw 20+ innings, while Aiden O’Hara (2023; Loras) fell just short of that benchmark (17 IP), though he pitched to a 1.24 ERA with 18 strikeouts in that span.
NO. 4 NEW TRIER (30-8)
New Trier returned to the state playoffs for this season for the first time since 2017. Leading this group was legendary head coach Mike Napoleon, who became the state’s all-time win leader this season (966) and has made six prior trips to state, including a championship in 2000. Another storied program in Illinois, the Trevians are back in the state playoffs for the first time since 2017. Leading this group is legendary coach Mike Napoleon, who became the state’s all-time win leader this season (966) and has made six previous trips to state as the leader of New Trier, including championships in 2000 and 2009.
The strength of the 2023 Trevians was their offense, as New Trier had multiple tough outs scattered throughout their lineup, starting with a trio of seniors that all greatly produced in the final years of their prep careers: Graham Mastros (2023; St. Louis), Dylan Mayer (2023; Manhattan), and Brenden Stressler (2023; St. Louis). Mastros led this bunch in batting average (.380) and he supplied some thump too, totaling 11 extra-base hits, including five home runs. Mayer is another powerful bat, barreling nine doubles and homering six times to go along with a .372 batting average and 35 RBIs. Then there’s Stressler, who’s one of the state’s top 2023 prospects and has shown that status throughout the spring. He led the Trevians in RBI, doubles, and he homered five times, his most recent an absolute towering walk-off shot in the sectional semi-final, with a .367 batting average.
Aside from those three, the Trevians had a handful of other bats that have been key for them throughout the spring. James Novakovic (2024; Purdue) brought plenty of value with his glove, though the left-handed hitting shortstop had a batting average over .300 and scored 25 runs, too. Aidan Nolan (2024) is another junior with regular playing time that’s performed well throughout the spring, while sophomores Trey Meyers (2025) and Ben Toft (2025) are two more names to know in this offense.
Two junior arms made up a bulk of the Trevians’ innings this spring: Max Kaplan (2024) and Justin Wood (2024). Kaplan anchored this group, hurling 60+ innings and turning in a quality start in Friday’s semi-final game against a tough Brother Rice opponent. Wood threw 46 innings for New Trier, punching out 54 with a 2.64 ERA and 6-2 record. Noah Shapo (2024), Trevor Byrnes (2023) and Beau McBride (2024) are three more arms that saw success for the Trevians throughout the spring.
NO. 5 LINCOLN-WAY EAST (31-9)
The Griffins have become one of the most consistent, competitive, 4A clubs year-in and year-out since head coach Eric Brauer took over the program in 2017-2018. This past year was the best-yet, setting multiple school records, including a program record 31 wins this spring and a Super-Sectional appearance.
The Griffins, who finish in the No. 5 spot on our Power 25, set a couple of program records winning 20+ games for five years in a row, winning conference four years in a row and they won a Sectional Championship for the first time since 2011.
The Griffins began the season at No. 9 in the Preseason Power 25 rankings and fell to as low as No. 20 before holding the No. 1 spot on May 14th as they prepared for the playoffs to begin. Throughout the regular season the Griffins knocked off the likes of Lemont, Lincoln-Way Central, Minooka, Lockport, Lincoln-Way West, Providence Catholic, Libertyville, Sandburg, Neuqua Valley, to name a few. Their postseason was a difficult road where they took down Bloom, Joliet West, Lincoln-Way West and Lockport to earn a bid in the Super-Sectional. In one of the more intense, entertaining games of the postseason the Griffins were walked off by Brother Rice 5-4, with Brother Rice ultimately taking second-place at state.
RHP/INF Zach Kwasny (‘23 Ball State) and SS Tyler Bell (‘24 Pittsburgh) were two of the top prospects and performers for Lincoln-Way East throughout the spring. Kwasny, known for taking the ball in big games, was the ace of the staff and hit in the middle of the order as well. Kwasny finished 8-2 on the mound with a 2.95 ERA and while striking out 75 in 61 innings pitched. Kwasny also collected 10 extra-base hits on the year and had a .441 on base percentage. Bell played a smooth, consistent shortstop throughout the spring and did all kinds of damage at the plate. Bell, a switch-hitter, hit .446 with nine doubles, six triples and nine home runs. He added 46 RBIs, scored 54 runs, walked 36 times, good for a .577 OBP% and stole 32 bases as well. Bell is a strong First-Team All-State candidate and will look to lead the team once again next spring.
Daniel Giusto (‘23 Loras) and Trevor Fishman (‘23 Wabash Valley) were two of the top options on the mound as well. Giusto tallied 46.1 innings with an 8-1 record, 2.12 ERA and he struck out 63 and only allowed 31 hits. Fishman finished 5-0 in 40.1 innings striking out 50 and working to a 3.12 ERA. Aaron Scott (‘25 Illinois State) and Connor Jendraszak (‘23 Southeastern CC) were two of the most trusted options out of the bullpen, both with 31.1 innings under their belts and sub-3.57 ERA’s.
Offensively, outside of Bell, ‘24 Matt Hudik and John Connors (‘23 John A. Logan JC) did some of the best work throughout the season. Hudik’s 44 singles and 123 at-bats in a single season broke both school records. Primarily hitting out of the leadoff spot, Hudik hit .398 with a .465 OBP, five doubles, 41 runs and 24 RBIs. Connors hit .362 with eight doubles, three triples, eight home runs, 51 RBIs and 38 runs scored.